Movies

Movies

Fri
10
May

LEGO Sequel Doesn't Stack Up to Original

LEGO Movie 2: Second Part

Given the amazing success of THE LEGO MOVIE, it was inevitable that there was going to be a sequel, starring the same characters. And sure enough, here comes THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, with Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett returning to their roles of Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Batman.

There's just one problem. After seeing the brilliant end of the first movie, the rabbit is out of the hat. We know what's going on. The magic is gone. It's like trying to do a sequel to THE SIXTH SENSE and trying to forget the whole time that Bruce Willis is a ghost. (LEGO Bruce Willis appears in this film, so that's not entirely a non sequitur analogy.) Where we were originally left in the dark as to what "Kragle" was, we now immediately work on the (less-than-inspired) translations of the "Sis Star System" and the "Bin of Sto-Raj."

Fri
26
Apr

Why I'm not Excited for Avengers: Endgame

There's a good chance if you didn't post the Mad Max "That's Bait" gif when you saw this article, you're actually wondering why I feel this way. I'll try to explain myself in a way that doesn't sound biased, bitter, or boring.

To start off, my entrance into comic books was with the X-Men. NOT the Avengers. But when Iron Man hit theaters over 10 years ago, I was excited to see it. A comic book property that wasn't Batman was about to be on the big screen. It was something new and refreshing!

And I LOVED IT!

Do you know what else I loved nearly 5 years later? Man of Steel.

Fri
26
Apr

AVENGERS: ENDGAME Is A Deeply Emotional End To The MCU As We Know It

AVENGERS ENGAME is playing on nearly every movie screen near you. Go see it. Bring tissues. We'll talk later.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe officially began in 2008 with the release of Iron Man featuring the impeccable casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, billionaire futurist and superhero. Now, just slightly more than ten years later, Avengers: Endgame potentially could become the biggest film phenomenon of all time. How do you review something like that? I think the answer is simple: you don’t. You can’t. Anything you say about Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Hawkeye,  Captain Marvel, Falcon, Bucky, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, The Wasp and may other major and minor characters that have graced the silver screen in the “Decade of Marvel” could be a spoiler, even if you don’t mean to spoil anything.

Fri
19
Apr

Black and White and Cute All Over: IMAX Pandas

IMAX Pandas

This nature documentary pops right off the screen, thanks tot he IMAX filming of the subjects and their lush settings.

Narrated by Kristen Bell, IMAX PANDAS takes the audience into the world of the endangered Giant Panda, and the efforts to repopulate them in the wild. We get to see baby pandas, born in captivity and nurtured at a panda preserve in China, and learn of the efforts to wean the captive pandas back into their natural habitat. But that is no simple task.

Sun
07
Apr

Bumblebee: Mining 80s Nostalgia Produces Best of Transformers Series

Bumblebee Blu-ray and DVD

For the first fifteen minutes of BUMBLEBEE, I found myself over-analyzing things. The battle for Cybertron, for instance, was fought between Autobots and Decepticons who transformed themselves into vehicles already. Why? They did not have vehicles there to blend in with, they traveled under their own power, they had programming (in English) that had to have been put in by somebody, and, most distracting, their "mouths" moved when they spoke when their voices were sent through speakers, so there was no reason to use movement to articulate sounds. In fact, being advanced electronics, it was more likely they would communicate directly, wirelessly, through technology akin to Bluetooth.

And then I got it. It wasn't that BUMBLEBEE was cheesy like an 80s movie. It's not that BUMBLEBEE was even an homage to cheesy 80s movies.

Wed
03
Apr

DC's SHAZAM! Is Better Than Captain Marvel...and Superman!

Zachary Levy and Asher Angel totally rule in SHAZAM! Go see it a bunch of times starting 4/5/19!

Before I say “I told you so!” because I did, let’s recap: Marvel makes awesome superhero movies. Dc makes duds. They did manage to make Wonder Woman and Aquaman entertaining, but Batman vs. Superman, Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Green Lantern – which was so bad that it’s star lampooned himself for it in a much more successful Marvel flick – were not even on par with the least of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That would be Iron Man III, in my opinion, though Thor II wasn’t great and….well, can we count Blade III part of the MCU? Nah. It’s been such a dismally lopsided contest that DC recently threw in the towel and declared the “shared universe” for DC films dead. They’re not going to try to be Marvel. They’re just going to try to make good movies again.

Sun
31
Mar

Not Much Mystery in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Carolyn Keene's girl detective is getting another shot at live action adaptation, this time coming to the screen with the help of IT girl, SOPHIA LILLIS as the titular Nancy Drew.

Nancy lives in a small town, having moved there from Chicago with her father, attorney Carson Drew (TRUE BLOOD's SAM TRAMMELL), following the death of her mother. She's a tomboy with a penchant for getting into trouble due to her sense of vigilante justice (which ranges from dying a bully blue to actual breaking and entering).

Despite her short time in town, she's made some friends in plucky George Fayne (ZOE RENEE) and scientific genius Bess Marvin (MACKENZIE GRAHAM). She's also made an enemy in rich girl Helen Corning (LAURA WIGGINS), the girlfriend of said bully-turned-blue.

Sun
24
Mar

Long Live the King: Aquaman Comes to Blu-ray and DVD

Aquaman on Bluray

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe was being birthed, there were labor pains. How could they have a successful franchise, when their top selling titles -- Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men -- were already franchised out to other production houses?

It's hard to imagine it now (and for longtime comic boom fans, it was even hard to imagine it then), but at the time all this was going down, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America were not top-tier characters for the House of Ideas. There was literally nowhere to go but up with these guys, and so that's where they went.

Thu
21
Mar

Mary Poppins Returns is a Spoonful of Sugar and More

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray

ROB MARSHALL has accomplished the rare privilege of getting to direct a classic of the Disney variety. MARY POPPINS RETURNS pops off the screen, with a color palette right out of a fantasy and a soundtrack firmly in tune with the songs from the original 1964 film that gave us such unforgettable songs as "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

EMILY BLUNT steps into the impeccable shoes of the unflappable Mary Poppins, arriving at a time when the two Banks children, Michael (BEN WHISHAW) and Jane (EMILY MORTIMER) have grown up. Jane, like her mother, works to promote women's suffrage, while Michael is a struggling artist who has taken a job at the bank to make ends meet after the loss of his wife. Michael's three children, John, Annabel, and Georgie, do their best to help out, but can accomplish very little when the family learns they have until the end of the week to come up with the money to save their family home before the bank forecloses on it.

Thu
07
Mar

What are the Crimes of Grindelwald? Perhaps This Latest Fantastic Beasts Film is One of Them?

Fantastic Beasts Crimes of Grindwald Blu-ray Harry Potter Wizarding World

EDDIE REDMAYNE returns as the gawky and awkward (gawkward?) Newt Scamander in this second installment of the Pre-Potter series, FANTASTIC BEASTS. The unlikely hero is saddled with a quest from no less a personage than Albus Dumbledore, making his appearance in this series thanks to JUDE LAW, to track down and... I don't know, stop, protect, capture, talk to a person named Credence Barebone (EZRA MILLER, JUSTICE LEAGUE). We don't really know why until the end of the movie, which is too long in coming.

Wed
06
Mar

Thanos Has Already Won--Captain Marvel Fizzles!

Captain Marvel opens in the U.S. on March 8, 2019.

It seems so long ago, but it was only just one year ago when Marvel made cinema history. Just a couple of months prior to last year’s Avengers: The Infinity War, Marvel released Black Panther. Director/screenwriter Ryan Coogler set the bar impossibly high, crafting not just a tremendous super hero movie but a cultural sensation. The film was the 18th in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ninth highest grossing film worldwide of all time, and was nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. The huge, galaxy-spanning scope of Avengers: The Infinity War kept that film from being overshadowed by Black Panther, and the Russo Brothers had an embarrassment of riches when crafting their first installment of the climactic finale to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vols.

Sun
03
Mar

Instant Family an Instant Favorite

Instant Family Blu-ray

Yes, it's true. INSTANT FAMILY is, in fact, an instant classic. But don't let that lead you to believe it's an instant family classic. The film is rated PG-13 for a reason, and that's because the film is, above all else, brutally honest in its depiction of fostering and adoption, including the troubles of the children involved and the temporary recriminations of the parents who step up to the challenge.

When Pete and Ellie (MARK WAHLBERG, ROSE BYRNE), a pair of house-flippers, decide that they've waited too long to have biological children, they decide to go the adoption route. Surprisingly, and perhaps shockingly, the process is very much like shopping, complete with online browsing of available children and a visit to a fair-like event where potential parents can interact with the kids until they find one they click with.

Sun
24
Feb

Takashi Miike's Audition a Solid Blu-ray Release from Arrow

Audition - Arrow Video - Blu-ray release

After seven years a widower, Shigeharu Aoyaama decides he will take his son's advice and look for a new wife. A colleague decides to help by setting up a situation -- an audition -- to allow Shigeharu to screen and judge potential candidates, and that is when Shigeharu notices Asami.

Everything about Asami seems intriguing, and Asami seems responsive to Shigeharu's advances. But the fairytale soon turns nightmarish, and keeps going off-course.

Click the video below to get our full review on this Takashi Miike film, from Arrow on Blu-ray.

Sun
24
Feb

Wakanda Forever: Chadwick Boseman Takes Best Film Actor for 2018

Best Film Actor 2018 Chadwick Boseman Critical Blast Awards

While it's been the norm for actors in superhero films to rank highly in our annual "Best Of" Awards, as decided by the readers of CriticalBlast.com, this year's crop of nominees saw most of the costumed actors take a backseat to talent like RAMI MALEK (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY) and CHRISTIAN BALE (VICE). And to be sure, we had some strong showings by TOM HARDY (VENOM) as well as JASON MOMOA and AMBER HEARD (AQUAMAN), proving our readers aren't tired of the superhero genre yet.

Sun
24
Feb

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Selected as Critical Blast Best Movie of 2018

Spiderverse Best of 2018

Every year, Critical Blast asks its readers to tell us what they believe are the best of the best in entertainment -- movies, television, books, and comics. Readers are presented with a list of potential nominees, with the ability to write-in their own favorites. The idea is, it's all fan-driven.

And this year, when we asked our readers to tell us what they felt the best movie of 2018 was, we had a number of responses. AQUAMAN, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR all put in strong showings.

But it was another superhero who beat them all out -- even if he needed an army of himself from across multiple parallel dimensions.

With a sizeable 28% of all votes, the Best Film of 2018, as decided by the readers of Critical Blast, goes to the Marvel Entertainment animated feature, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Thu
21
Feb

Dole Alliance with Captain Marvel Commemorates Female Superheroes in Food, Health and Wellness

Bananas Over Captain Marvel

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  (Feb. 18, 2019) — While Carol Danvers fights to save Earth from a galactic battle as Captain Marvel, Dole is celebrating other female superheroes for their battles waged a bit closer to home.

Powering the Hero Within” (#DoleHero) is a 10-week empowered-living alliance between Dole and Marvel’s Captain Marvel inspired by Danvers’ dramatic transformation into the title character of the much-anticipated March 8 release. Taking its cue from Danvers, Dole is acknowledging influential women in food, health and wellness plus female-focused nonprofit groups working toward a healthier, more heroic world. 

Sun
17
Feb

Ralph Breaks the Internet Astutely Skewers Online Culture

Ralph Breaks the Internet

When we met Wreck-It Ralph (JOHN C. REILLY), we entered a world of boomer nostalgia. The videogame culture of the 80s came back to all of us who had lived through it, and introduced it to a new generation who now enjoy playing the retro, 16-bit arcade classics as much as the modern high-definition games. Our personal game collection here has added a classic wood-grain Atari 2600 console as well as a Nintendo 64, and are getting regular play.

Thu
07
Feb

Pratt & Company Build More Fun In LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART opens February 8, 2019

Lego toys--everybody loves ‘em, unless you step on one. Tiny plastic bricks embedded in your foot will send you from serene to swearing instantly. Did you ever once think, “You know, these fun little bits of plastic and the yellow, stiff-limbed action figures that often come with them would make for an absurdly funny and at times touching film nearly everyone, regardless of age, would enjoy. Why, it would be so popular, in fact, that it would spawn a full-fledged Hollywood franchise, spin-off movies, a TV show, and theme park rides?”

Sat
02
Feb

Cloverfield Producers Need to Look up Definition of Paradox

Cloverfield Paradox

The Earth is having a critical energy crisis. It's only hope lies with the experiments on an orbiting space station, where an international group of astronauts tries to fire up a super collider. If they are successful, they will provide a limitless source of free energy.

Of course, they may also rip a whole in space time, interact with parallel realities, and unleash demons on the world -- but those are just the ravings of Internet conspiracist Mark Stambler (GOTHAM's DONAL LOGUE), a theory he calls "The Paradox."

After some unsuccessful attempts, the collider works -- and then overloads. And the Earth is gone, and common knowledge has gone with it.

Wed
23
Jan

Goosebumps 2 Fun, Family-Friendly Goof-fest

Goosebumps 2

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN is a film that's quite obviously going to be enjoyed more by kids than by grown-ups. The horror comedy is based not on any single book of R.L. Stine's, but rather on the series as a whole, presenting them as actualities that Stine chronicles or, in this case, inadvertently creates.

The adventure begins when two friends, Sonny (JEREMY RAY TAYLOR) and Sam (CALEEL HARRIS) are hired to clean the junk out of an old abandoned house, and find a locked book in a trunk, as well as a familiar-looking ventriloquist dummy. Yes, it's Slappy, and he's looking to bond with the boys and become a brother to them. But he shows his true colors when he gets overprotective of Sonny's older sister, Sarah (MADISON ISEMAN), sending her jerk boyfriend tumbling from a tall ladder.

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